A Latina teen with total recall joins four other young Angelenos with special skills on a secret time-travel mission to the future.
Although she has an eidetic memory, Elena Martinez has little else going for her. She's an intelligent foster-care kid about to turn 18 without any foreseeable job or college prospects. When an executive from the Aether Corporation offers her a spot on a short-term project for a great deal of money, she has no qualms about signing on. Her team includes three fellow desperate teens—hotheaded black mechanic Chris, homeless white lockpick Trent, introverted Asian artist Zoe—and Adam, a cute, white science nerd. Their mission is to slip through a time portal leaving them 10 years in the future for 24 hours. They're to collect technology, sketches, and impressions of the future world. But when they end up 30 years in the future and discover that everyone but Adam doesn't seem to exist anymore, the conspiracy theories begin to fly. The author refreshingly swaps teen-lit gender stereotypes in the fairly formulaic but nonetheless satisfying romance: she's the edgy, brooding girl with the heart of gold, and he's the adorable, inexperienced good guy. Those who spot the foreshadowing won't be surprised by the twist, but the story remains intriguing enough to keep reading.
An absorbing, if occasionally predictable, time-travel mystery with a side of romance. (Science fiction. 13-17)